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London Irish owner hoping IRFU loosen overseas selection policy


London Irish owner Mick Crossan believes his club could sign more Irish players if the IRFU relax their policy on not picking those playing outside the provinces for the international team. 

Former Ireland head-coach Declan Kidney is the Exiles' Director of Rugby with former Irish internationals Paddy Jackson and Sean O'Brien both on their books.

The Gallagher Premiership side have recently re-located back to West London from Reading after striking a deal with Brentford FC to play their home games there for the next 20 seasons.

"It's alright for people to say 'Why don't you have more Irish players', but unfortunately their international careers are more or less over the minute the players leave the Irish provinces," London Irish chief Crossan said to The Daily Mail when asked about recruiting more Irish players.

"It would be fantastic to see an arrangement in place because there are natural synergies. I had some conversations with Joe Schmidt when he was Ireland coach. They've only got four clubs to choose from and it's a shame that there's a lot of talent that just doesn't get game time.

"I don't know how the RFU would look at it, but anything's possible. There's a wealth of talent in Ireland and maybe some of those boys would benefit from some time away."

Earlier today the IRFU's David Nucifora insisted that they'll be sticking with their policy on not selecting Irish players from overseas clubs.

"At the moment, the position we've been in is if players choose not to play their rugby in Ireland, it's unlikely we'd select them, it's not a hard and fast rule, there's no hard and fast rule about that, we've never had one.

"But our attitude towards it wouldn't change, we'd be selecting players who stay here and play for our provinces."

 

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